Erdogan warns attack on Idlib will send Syrian refugees heading to Europe


A full-scale Syrian regime attack on Idlib would lead to a flow of refugees to Europe and “serious humanitarian and security risks” to the continent, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned. 

The US-led coalition meanwhile said it had launched an operation to clear the Islamic State (Isil) from its final remaining pocket of territory in northeastern Syria. 

The Turkish leader has been mounting a public campaign to focus the world’s attention on the dangers of an attack on the rebel-held province, where around three million people are bracing for an assault by Bashar al-Assad’s forces. 

In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Mr Erdogan said the international community “must understand their responsibilities as the assault on Idlib looms”.

“A regime assault would also create serious humanitarian and security risks for Turkey, the rest of Europe and beyond,” he said. 

Turkey is already sheltering more than three million Syrian refugees within its borders and has repeatedly said that it cannot take any more. 

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